Altamonte Springs Property Management Blog

Why you should not pressure wash your roof

JAT Property Management LLC - Friday, August 2, 2019

This blog is to warn current and future homeowners to NOT pressure wash their roofs, or possibly even clean it, either.   I had my roof cleaned and pressure washed and the man who did it, stated it was safe and it was low pressure and it would not have a negative impact on my roof.   

The result was after it was done, I had about a quarter inch or more layer of roofing granule’s in my gutter.   That was about two years ago when it was done.   In those two years since, when I clean my gutters of leaves, I also clean the gutters of granule’s that the roof continues to lose.   I am NOT happy about it!   

I am not certain why these things are happening, but I do believe it is a result of having cleaned my roof and because a pressure system was utilized by the man contracted to clean it.   I am not entirely certain because I am not licensed as a roofer or inspector.  I just know I am not happy about the longer term results and the concerns out-weigh any warm and fuzzy feeling I got from it looking clean when it was initially done about two years ago, because in my uneducated opinion, it has expedited the future need to spend thousands of dollars to replace my roof.   

I am observing another concern as well.   The concern is that my roof shingles are raising or bending up since having cleaned the roof.   Again, I am not a roofer or inspector, but I have discerned it is a result for having cleaned my roof.   The reason for this conclusion is the following:   My Townhome is in between two other homes, and the three homes (inclusive of my home had their roofs replaced at the same time as a result of a Hurricane in 2005, AND, in fact, when I bought my home in 2007, the 2005 roof was a selling point).  As previously stated, I cleaned my roof about two years ago, and I did so because the homeowner to my east cleaned their roof.  However, the homeowner to my west did NOT clean their roof.  

The following are pictures of an immaculate gutter of the home to my west that did not clean their roof.

Beyond the gutters, when viewing each of the three roofs one can see that my home and the home to my east are experiencing the bending or raising up of the ends of the roof shingles.   However, the home to the west that did not clean their roof two years ago, is not.   Again, I am not a roofer or an inspector, but, my uneducated hypothesis is that the chemical cleaning agents used to clean my roof have made it dry and brittle.  But, the home to my west clearly has virtually no granule’s in it!

Finally, the loss of granule’s was NOT an issue prior to cleaning my roof, in effort in a sense to keep up with the neighbors.  Nor was the bending or raising up of the shingles.  It was a regrettable decision.   Instead of replacing my roof around 2025, I will likely need to do it around 2022, is my guess.   I am not a licensed roofer or inspector, and *I presume that none of the members of the Architectural Committee or Board in my community are either.  *Note, this blog is stemming from current situation in my HOA community where the board is sending out letters requiring my fellow homeowners to clean their roofs.  I did not get a letter for it, because I already foolishly cleaned my roof.   Ugg.  

In short, I SHORTENED THE LIFESPAN OF MY ROOF, by cleaning it, is the message in this blog.

The granule’s are what protects your homes roof from wind, water, and the sun.  The more one loses granule’s on their roof, the less the roof is protecting your home from; wind, water, and the sun.   

I also did some research on the matter via the internet.  Lots of info comes up including a video where a licensed roofer is showing gutters filled a quarter inch with granule’s.  

I found the website of:

They are a roofing company.

There is good information at the site, and the quote below, is a quote directly from that roofing company’s website.   And, I also called a local roofer in Seminole County Florida; and their suggestion was to not the clean the roof, and certainly not use any type of pressure wash system, because there is simply no amount of pressure that is light enough.   The suggestion was some type of spray and then let the next rain rinse it off.  Personally, that does not sound very effective, because the man who cleaned my roof used the chemicals and he pressure washed my roof, and it makes me believe that to clean, one would need both, and since pressure washing is NOT recommended at all by licensed roofing companies, then the best answer is don’t do it, you might be better off with a roof that is kind of dirty, instead of reducing the lifespan of it.   Again, that is my unlicensed opinion.   Maybe begin to save up some money instead, and never have anyone buy a licensed roofer touch your roof.  

The site visited and noted above, wrote the following: 

“The damage caused by pressure washing is not immediately noticeable. Pressure washing strips the granules from asphalt shingles. Therefore, it strips away years of your roof’s lifespan. These granules are what enable your roof to protect your home from the elements, like rain, wind and sun.

A 15-year-old roof has fewer granules to spare than a newer roof does. Older roofs are usually the ones that look like they could benefit most from a “good cleaning.” But keep in mind pressure washing an older roof is sending it to its grave all that much sooner.”

By J Michael Dailey, Charles Rutenberg Realty.

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